Long before Netflix, Hulu, and 50,000 other streaming services dominated our lives, there were these things called “video stores.” You will visit them whenever you want to watch a movie at home. After walking the aisles and some heated discussions as you tried to make a decision, you came home with some videotapes. You didn’t buy them, you just borrowed them. And in a few days you had to “turn in videotapes”.
It was something everyone did. Mentioning it as an errand was as common as “going to do laundry” or “running errands”. The act was completely nonchalant. At least until Bret Easton Ellis turns that phrase into a catchall alibi for one of literature’s most diabolical villains, Patrick Bateman.
Throughout Ellis’s scathing indictment of financial culture in the 1980s, Bateman used the phrase as a way to conceal his whereabouts. ‘Returning videotapes’ is a much nicer thread to spin than the real thing – Bateman was listening to Huey Lewis and the News as he hacked his colleague to pieces with an axe.
These days “American Psycho” like Ellis’ novel but great movie starring Christian Bale and directed by Mary Harron. What makes the novel and the film so brilliant is how they work simultaneously on two distinct levels. By appealing to our basic desire for violent horror movies, critique of 1980s self-first culture is able to creep into your subconscious like medicine. One could certainly argue that the 2020s would be a perfect setting for an “American Psycho” remake, but instead of the Wall Street yuppie killing people on the side, you could slip into a notorious TikTok wellness con man. . Editor’s note: Stop giving brilliant ideas in tattoo blogs, bozo.
Another reason “American Psycho” is so brilliant is the way it makes the viewer love a bloodthirsty murder in the middle of a rampage…or maybe not since the whole murder may very well be a hallucination. The thing is, you can’t help but love Bateman. It is smooth. He has spirit. He’s so cheeky about getting what he wants that you can’t help but be a little impressed. We all know we should never side with him, but we do anyway.
In the gallery below, you’ll find some pretty amazing “American Psycho” tattoos. While I was really hoping we’d find a tattoo of a Paul Allen’s business card or an ATM requiring him to be fed a kitten, it’s still a pretty impressive collection of tattoos.
This is where I leave you. Enjoy the gallery, I only have to go out for a second to return some video tapes.